Galina Timchenko, co-founder and publisher of the independent news outlet Meduza, believes that a European Union country was behind the hacking of her iPhone using military-grade spyware. Meduza, which has been outlawed in Russia for its independent reporting and stance on the war in Ukraine, has been subjected to surveillance by the notorious Pegasus spyware, developed by Israel’s NSO Group. Security experts discovered that Timchenko’s iPhone had been infected with Pegasus, giving hackers complete access to her device, including messages, emails, calls, photographs, and microphone. Timchenko first became aware of the hack after receiving a warning from Apple. The implications of the hack are concerning, as corporate passwords, staff names, and the identities of Meduza’s sources within Russia could have been compromised. The suspicion initially fell on Russia, but researchers at Citizen Lab found no evidence of Russian involvement. Instead, Timchenko and Meduza’s editor-in-chief believe that circumstantial evidence points to an EU state as the likely perpetrator. At least three other Russian journalists based in Latvia have also received alerts from Apple indicating that they may have fallen victim to Pegasus. While evidence suggests that Latvia is a customer of NSO Group, it remains unclear if the country has the capability to use Pegasus outside its borders. Timchenko has highlighted tensions between Meduza and the Latvian authorities since the outlet expressed support for TV Rain, a Russian TV station based in Latvia that lost its broadcasting license due to its critical reporting on the war in Ukraine.
1. Galina Timchenko, co-founder and publisher of Meduza, had her iPhone hacked using the Pegasus spyware.
2. The hacking incident raises concerns about the security of corporate information and the identities of Meduza’s sources.
3. Researchers at Citizen Lab found no evidence of Russian involvement and believe that an EU country may be responsible.
4. Other Russian journalists based in Latvia have also received alerts from Apple, indicating the potential widespread use of Pegasus in the region.
5. Tensions have increased between Meduza and the Latvian authorities following the outlet’s support for TV Rain, a Russian TV station critical of the war in Ukraine.